Lebanon for Entrepreneurs Phase 2
Focus Area
Business Skills
Local Partners
LIFE Lebanon & Lebnet
Budget
$24,000
Geographic Scope
Lebanon IT sector

The objective of the IT initiative was to promote the emergence of a technology sector in Lebanon that would ultimately lead to job creation, economic development, and investments. SEAL funded a portion of the project, covering the operating expenses of an IT center for two years. Objectives of the center were:
• Become a centralized access point for diaspora resources to support the emerging local IT economy
• Champion policy/regulatory changes and infrastructure upgrades to help make the environment more hospitable to IT start-ups
• Identify IT sub-sectors where Lebanon can become a meaningful regional or global player
• Lay the groundwork for the next phase of the IT initiative

Since its launch in 2013, LFE acted as a gateway for the diaspora network to engage with the local entrepreneurial community, and was able to mobilize hundreds of Lebanese technology and finance executives overseas to support the Lebanese startup ecosystem. In particular, LFE worked on the design and implementation of a mentorship program that provided 20 Lebanese startups with quality mentorship and immersion in Silicon Valley. In parallel with that program, LFE mentored 15 tech startups in Lebanon, helping six of them raise a record $7.8M in early-stage funding and acquire three large customers. LFE also cofounded the tech accelerator Speed@BDD, which has positioned itself as one of the premier accelerators in the MENA region. On the policy front, LFE assisted the Presidency of the Council of Ministers’ Office with the drafting and review of laws that promote startup creation and investment in Lebanon, including a law on Lebanese Private Equity Funds. LFE published, in collaboration with IDAL, a first-of-its-kind research paper about competitive technology subsectors in Lebanon.

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